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Bernstein: Watching The Sox Is Torture

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Dan-Bernstein Dan Bernstein
Dan Bernstein has been the co-host of “Boers and Bernstein” since...
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By Dan Bernstein–
CBSChicago.com Senior Columnist

(CBS) I wish I knew which train was carrying the dirty bomb. Trust me, I’d have told you.

Nuclear launch codes? Sure. Um…Tango, Echo, five, seven, Foxtrot, seven, niner? No? Can I try again?

How about the identities of deep-cover operatives? I’m pretty sure the guy at the end of the block is KGB. Or NSA. Something. Maybe the Mossad.

Just, please, make me stop watching the White Sox try to hit.

I have never seen anything like this, whatever this is, and it burns my eyes. It also gives me abdominal cramping, headache, itching, dizziness and hallucinations.

The numbers say the Sox have scored 352 runs this year, which has to be a damn lie. If my calculations are correct, they have scored a total of zero runs this year, have won no games, and have grounded into 27,667 double plays.

There have been games – I’m sure of it – in which the Sox never even batted. What would be the point?

Because I’m an idiot, I seem to have figured out that defiantly turning off the television is a powerful, effective protest. “That’ll show ‘em,” part of my brain thinks, as I flick the switch after another Carlos Quentin popup, AJ Pierzynski grounder to second or Brent Morel swing at ball four, five, six, seven and eight.

There is always a brief sense of relief. I pick up a book, or sit at the computer for a while as the pain subsides.

And then what do I do, every single time? I turn the game back on, only to see that there are runners at second and third and nobody out. The batter is always either Omar Vizquel or Juan Pierre. They don’t score. They never score. They never have scored.

The rest of the AL Central is in on this, too. I have to watch because the standings somehow show that Sox are actually still competing. According to Baseball Prospectus, they still have a 25.1 percent chance of making the playoffs this year.

It must be a nice existence, sometimes, to be an algorithm instead of a person with eyes and ears. Consuming baseball with no consciousness, thought or feeling, running millions of programmed simulations and calculating ranges of probability without once actually having to watch Edwin Jackson labor through a 37-pitch inning, Adam Dunn wave at a belt-high changeup, or an opposing basestealer slide in without a throw. How liberating to live only in a blissful baseball matrix, where there’s no awareness, no pain, no “Dadgummit!” or “He just missed it.”

If that algorithm could sit next to me and watch, it would know better. But it may then quit analyzing baseball and seek happier work at an insurance company or the IRS.

This is excruciating, and it doesn’t stop. In fact it gets worse — now the Twins are in town, which is like watching Sox baseball while wearing sandpaper underpants and thumbscrews. No team has a knack for inflicting discomfort like Ron Gardenhire’s bunch, regardless of how good they may be.

You say “Carl Pavano, Nick Blackburn, Brian Duensing and Anthony Swarzak” right now, and I hear “Bob Gibson, Tom Seaver, Sandy Koufax and Walter Johnson,” the way things feel.

But I can’t help it. I’ll be watching again, waiting for that next moment to zap the screen to black after somebody gets tagged out on a botched squeeze play. Then I’ll come back just in time for a line-shot double play with runners at the corners and one out in the eighth.

My only hope is that Amnesty International intervenes sometime before 7:00.

bernstein 90x130 Bernstein: Watching The Sox Is Torture
Dan Bernstein has been the co-host of “Boers and Bernstein” since 1999. He joined the station as a reporter/anchor in 1995. The Boers and Bernstein Show airs every weekday from 1PM to 6PM on The Score, 670AM. Read more of Bernstein’s blogs here. Follow him on Twitter @dan_bernstein.
Listen to The Boers and Bernstein Show podcasts >>

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